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02/11/2015

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Global Protein War


Surely we cannot find any technology that is more important for the survival of our species, while eliminating growing social inequalities, than our ability to cultivate and increase the growth of new food. In a scenario of climate change, rising temperatures, changes in rainfall, extreme weather, etc… being able to equitably feed a growing world population (10 billion people by the year 2050) with an increasing consumption of meat protein on a planetary scale presents an enormous challenge that puts a lot of pressure on all of us who work in the food industry in general, and in the meat industry in particular.

More specifically, it is estimated that in a few years the world will need to produce 70 % more food to satisfy an exponential demand for diets richer in protein. The demand is such that the major corporate trends taking place in the global meat industry are headed in this direction: to ensure the supply of a protein that is a limited resource within the context of exponential consumption. Like it or not, we are on the eve of a Global War for Protein. Faced with this planetary conflict there are only two possible ways out... to be proactive and invest  all our resources in Innovation and in the Technologies that will enable us to triple the Earth’s food yield; or to be reactive, thinking nothing can be done and putting limits on everything, even if we die trying.

It is within this context that we must place the conclusions of the document issued by the  International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) of the World Health Organization (WHO) classifying processed meats as carcinogenic for humans... this is another move, directed and very well calculated, in this Global War for Protein, that attempts to lower meat consumption dramatically and without foreseeing the consequences.

The publication of this study defies common sense, and also defies numerous studies backed by science indicating that there is no correlation between cancer and meat... as well as many other studies that demonstrate the many benefits of a balanced diet that includes meat. Meat and meat products are a source of  nutrients that are essential for life... and therefore, WHO’s“new” classification has not taken into account the serious implications of drastically reducing the consumption of meat. To see the absurdity of their claim, one only needs to realize that those who follow a Mediterranean Diet consume double the recommended amount of processed meats and, despite this fact, the countries of Southern Europe enjoy robust health and have one of the longest life expectancies in the world.

Today, scientific evidence shows that cancer is a complex disease in which many other factors, such as lifestyle, genetics, age and environment come into play... and so, far beyond the consumption of one kind of food or another, all the variables that play a role in this complex equation must be taken into account.

Beyond such studies of questionable rigor, there is no doubt that the moderate consumption of meat products, together with the launching of new technologies, should allow us to STRETCH OUT THE PROTEIN, REDUCE ITS REJECTION and DISTRIBUTE ITS CONSUMPTION EQUITABLY, key factors in supplying food abundantly and safely to a planet with dwindling resources.

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